Hundreds of artisans in Okitipupa town in the Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State on Wednesday took to the streets of the town to protest against the power outage that has persisted in the area for the past ten years.
This came barely two weeks after the youths in the Ondo South Senatorial District shut down the Benin-Lagos expessway over the same problem of non-supply of electricity to the district by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.
The artisan protesters marched through the major streets of the Okitipupa town, chanting various solidarity songs to expess their displeasure over the development.
Armed with placards with inscriptions such as ‘ No light, no vote,’ ‘ BEDC should go,’ ‘ fix our light, no light no vote in 2019’, among others, the protesters blamed the state government and some repesentatives of the area in the National Assembly of not doing anything about the matter.
They vowed not to participate in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, adding no political activity would be allowed in the area if the power was not restored.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the Chairman of National Association of Tailors, Okitipupa branch, Mr. Wahab Muhammed, alleged that politicians in the area had failed the people, by not coming to their rescue.
He said, “It is sad that our politicians from the Ondo South Senatorial District have failed us. We have been in total darkness for over ten years and they have failed to restore our electricity.
“We have made up our minds that we are not going to participate in the 2019 elections, if our electricity is not restored. We will not allow them to campaign in our area.
“We are also not happy that the state government has not done anything meaningful to address the situation. Henceforth, we are not going to pay revenue to the government.”
Similarly, the Chairman of Electronic Technicians Association, Okitipupa branch, Mr. Omosule urged the Federal Government not to renew the contract of the BEDC because of its alleged failure to provide enough electricity for the people of the area.
However, the State Commissioner for Informationand Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, said the government did not ignore the Ondo South on the problem of power supply. He expressed the assurance that light would be restored as efforts were ongoing to restore power to the area.